2020 Volvo XC60 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, service brakes, and visibility issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2020 Volvo XC60 is a mid-size luxury SUV that stands out for its exceptional style. The automaker states that this model can “Own the road. Share the planet.” However, most owners don’t want to drive this anywhere, let alone around the entire planet. The most common complaints from owners relate to shoddy visibility, a faulty electrical system, and brakes that malfunction.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

The most common complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2020 Volvo XC60 relate to the electrical system, brakes, and visibility issues. Electricity issues range from vehicles shutting down when stopping to the instrument blacking out while driving. Several of the complaints about brakes also mention electrical system problems.

Other components and systems implicated in complaints include airbags, the engine, forward collision avoidance, lane departure, powertrain, tires, wheels, and several “unknown or other” issues. One of these, sent in by an owner from the District of Columbia, states that there have been issues with the hatch of the XC60. The complaint also reports an injury due to the malfunction.

“It has a feature where, if you wave your foot under the rear door, the hatch will open or close automatically.” The complaint states that it has been triggered inadvertently several times and is especially dangerous for small children. After this happened while the owner was holding a small child, she tried unsuccessfully to disable the feature. “If you Google it, this is a common issue that others have had happen too.”

In addition to all the complaints, there are also five recalls that affect the 2020 Volvo XC60.

2020 Volvo XC60 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Air Bags:srs Malfunction Warning Lamp/light
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Lane Departure: Assist
Power Train

Recall Issues

These recalls were issued between March 2020 and January 2023 and affect a total of almost 300,000 Volvo vehicles. All of them state that the problems increase the risk of a crash. Only one of the recalls doesn’t affect the brakes, electrical system, or visibility in some way.

  • Some low-pressure fuel pump fuses can fail, which can cause the car to stall — electrical system and gasoline fuel system.
  • The rotor and shaft of some cars may separate, causing the antilock brake system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) to fail — hydraulic service brakes.
  • The automatic emergency braking system may not engage as intended — forward collision avoidance.
  • There is a risk that some windshield wipers may loosen, which would reduce wiper function, impairing the driver’s vision —visibility and visibility/wiper.
  • A screw inside the gearbox housing can cause the steering wheel to lock up — steering.

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Electrical System Problems

By June 10, 2024, the most recent complaint about the electrical system stated that a “vehicle completely shut down when stopping.” All the lights in the car were flashing on and off and the driver was unable to start the car.

An owner from Florida who had brake and electrical system problems maintains his 16-month-old car is a lemon. He states that one day after getting the car, the defective rear rotors were replaced. Then the stop/start mechanism malfunctioned. It took four visits to the service department for them to diagnose the cause of the problem — and they replaced the stop/start battery.

The next problem he describes is the dashboard display turning into “a bright barcode.” He describes it as the “most dangerous problem” he has experienced. “My wife drives (the) car and this last problem scared her very much.” He adds that she couldn’t see the speed she was driving or how much gas was left. “Also, this occurred at night and the light from the barcode display was so bright that it interfered with driving.”

Another owner from Florida describes how the center tablet would black out while he was backing out of the driveway. The camera would work intermittently. Sometimes “the entire instrument panel blacks out! It’s happened 5x in the last two months and I don’t drive much.” After reporting the issue to the dealer and Volvo, he says, “No one seems concerned. They could not see it happen while they drove it so they are not worried. I don’t feel safe in this car. Safety was the only reason I chose Volvo.

Also having had brake problems, he states that the “braking system wasn’t working. But they thankfully did a recall and fixed that.”

Brake Problems

Stopping a vehicle is the only way to own a road. With malfunctioning service brakes, this becomes nearly impossible. Apart from that, faulty brakes are downright dangerous.

An owner from California states that the dealership discovered that the rear brakes were badly worn when the SUV went in for an oil change. At the time it had 20k miles. “The technician indicated the rear brakes had approximately 10% life remaining while the front had approximately 90% life remaining in them.” Questioning why this would happen, the owner states that “there is no reason other than a malfunctioning mechanical issue like the emergency brake not disengaging completely that this uneven wear should be occurring.”

While driving on Route 211 in Oak Island, North Carolina, another owner was slowing down to turn. There was nothing in front or behind, but the emergency brakes engaged suddenly, bringing the car to “a full stop.”

An owner from California had a similar experience. While driving at 45 mph, “the vehicle began to decelerate independently.” She used the brake pedal to stop the car. Soon after, she received notification of NHTSA Campaign Number 20V144000 — the forward collision avoidance recall mentioned above. After the recall repairs were completed, she experienced the failure for a second time. The dealer could not duplicate the failure, but it happened again while she was driving at low speed in a parking lot. Again, “the vehicle forcefully applied the brakes.” This time, the automatic intervention warning light came on. She sustained whiplash and concussion and needed medical attention. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who, yet again, was unable to duplicate the failure.

In total, this owner experienced the failure on four different occasions, and also when the gears were in reverse.

Visibility Problems

Seeing clearly from the vehicle is one of the most important aspects, no matter what model is being driven. When windows shatter or the rearview mirror malfunctions, visibility is adversely affected.

An NHTSA complaint from an owner in California tells how a window in the SUV suddenly shattered. “While driving on a freeway (70 degrees external temp), my right rear window spontaneously shattered with no contact. There was a loud pop and the entire window shattered into tiny bits.”

An owner from Washington had problems with the rearview mirror failing to automatically extend from the vehicle. “When outside in freezing weather, the mirror remains rotated inward facing the interior of the vehicle.” He phoned Volvo USA customer service, only to be told to “wait till it unfreezes.” The complaint states that there doesn’t seem to be a way to rotate the mirror manually unless using force “which appears to cause breakage.” The issue is that when the mirror is rotating fully, the driver can keep “an eye on traffic ahead.” When it isn’t, “it leaves the driver without a means of easily seeing approaching traffic.”

The visibility-related recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 20V603000, mentioned above states that over 87,000 vehicles might be equipped with front wipers where the nuts weren’t tightened properly, leading the wipers to loosen and stop working. If the wipers don’t clear the windshield during a rainstorm, the driver might have reduced visibility, which can, of course, increase the chance of an accident.

What Are Your Lemon Law Rights?

If you think you may have bought a lemon, you can have legal experts work on your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Volvo pay legal fees, and you may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners.

All you have to do is call the Lemberg Law Helpline or fill out a contact form and we’ll see what we can do to help you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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